Variations of the Marigold tote bag tutorial

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Marigold tutorial is the size and type of tote bag I prefer: big enough to carry my computer, small enough to take on travels. I also prefer to put the handles from the bottom, because it makes the handbag stronger and more durable. But you can vary the bag to your liking, by making it bigger or smaller, shorter or longer handles, with an inside or outside pocket etc.

Here are four variations that you can apply to the original tote bag pattern:

  1. with fabric straps
  2. with an outside pocket
  3. with handles starting at the top
  4. with lining

    Variations of the Marigold tote bag tutorial

Make your own fabric straps

Material: 3m x 11 cm of your chosen fabric for the straps (120 x 4.5 inches). I recommend using heavier fabric or middle weight fabric with fusible interfacing, to make the straps stronger.

  1. Fold the fabric on the sides (0.5 cm = 0.2 inch from each side), and fold again in the middle.
  2. Iron everything to keep the shape.

    how to sew fabric straps

  3. Cut the strap, to get two pieces (each should measure 1.5 m = 60 inches).
  4. Follow step 5 and sew the strap all around.

diy tote bag straps

Add an outside pocket

Material: 22 x 25 cm (8.5 x 10 inches) for the pocket

Fold only the top of the pocket and make a hem (the side seams will be under the straps, so no need to hem them).

Place the pocket on the right side of the bag an sew it on the left and right side of the pocket. Follow with step 5 of the Marigold tutorial.

Handles starting at the top

Make a very simple tote bag without any pockets and with handles starting from the top instead of the bottom.

Skip all the steps of the tutorial. Do only step 6 of the Marigold tutorial.

Then fold the end of the strap and attach it to the inside of the bag: sew a square with a cross, sew the handles all around.

Tote bag with lining

Material: 4 x pieces of fabric, 45 x 40 cm (18 x 16 inches) for inside (lining) and outside of the bag. Straps: 1.5m (60 inches).

  1. Add the pockets, inside or outside of the totebag, but don’t attach the straps yet.
  2. Prepare the outside - place both pieces right sides facing and sew around the bag (step 6 of the Marigold tutorial).
  3. Prepare the inside - proceed in the same way, just keep a 10 cm (4 inches) gap at the bottom of the lining. It will serve to turn the bag right side out.

diy handbag with lining

  1. Tricky part: Place the outside of the bag in the lining (the right sides of the fabrics are facing). Place the straps, make sure they are straight.

diy placing a lining

  1. Pin all around and check if everything looks ok. If you are not sure that the fabrics are placed correctly, handsew the opening and turn the bag right side out. You can check if everything is ok and then fix everthing to place.
  2. Sew all around the opening.

handbag tutorial

  1. Turn the bag right side out.

turning the bag right side out

  1. Iron the bag and sew all around the opening to fix everything in place.

It’s ready! :)

bag from cork and recycled old jeans

This tote bag was made from cork and old jeans.

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